Duke Nukem Forever began development in 1997, and was supposed to be out in 1998. It wasn’t released until 2011, and when it did, it fucking sucked. But what if the game had come out in 2001, like it was supposed to at one point?
As Duke4.net reports, a big leak recently turned up on 4chan, with someone uploading a series of videos and images from what the poster says is a 2001 build of the game. They say “all of the E3 content is there” from that year’s infamous presentation, and that while much of it is “block-outs with no enemies” (basically empty areas), other areas have some bad guys and interactive sections.
The leakers also say they have their hands on the editor and source code for this version of the game, and that they’ll be releasing both in June. It’s important to remember that the build they’re posting and promising to ultimately release isn’t a video game, in the sense it has any kind of structure or cohesion or polish to it. This is a 2001 build from a game that wasn’t released until 2011. It’s essentially just a collection of near-empty stages you can shoot guns in.
Given the game’s notoriety, though, that still makes this pretty interesting, if only so we can (roughly) compare what we can see here to what we ultimately got in 2011. Here’s one of the uploaded videos (though there are a lot more at Duke4.net):
George Broussard, the game’s original director who oversaw development from 1997-2009, has commented on the leaks, saying the footage “looks real,” and that people should “heavily temper expectations” because “there is no real game to play...just a smattering of barely populated test levels.”
Of course while what’s there at the moment is just a collection of scraps, diehard Duke Nuke fans are holding out hope that if the editor and source code really are released in June as promised, they’ll be able to flesh out the project and see if they can create something of their own with it.